Parents pulling their children from child care while centres are urged to remain open during the pandemic is driving businesses to the edge.
Parents pulling their children from child care while centres are urged to remain open during the pandemic is driving businesses to the edge.

Childcare crisis looming as virus pushes centres to brink

AUSTRALIANS are being warned a childcare shortage is coming on the other side of the coronavirus crisis as parents pull children from centres, putting many in the industry on the brink of shutting down.

Childcare and early learning will be considered at the next National Cabinet meeting tomorrow.

Noosa Outlook Childcare Centre director Anna Backman said more than 60 per cent of their parents had withdrawn from the service in the past week.

Australian Childcare Alliance vice-president Nesha Hutchinson.
Australian Childcare Alliance vice-president Nesha Hutchinson.

She said if childcare centres were forced to close there would be shortages when parents were ready to return to work.

Australian Childcare Alliance vice-president Nesha Hutchinson warned up to 80 per cent of childcare centres across the country could close if nothing changed.

"Services are being brought to the brink of collapse because parents, quite rightly, don't understand why they should pay for a service they're not getting," she said.

Ms Hutchinson said the industry wanted the Government to pay 85 per cent of the child care subsidy based on enrolments as of March 1.

 

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in QLD

 

Australian Childcare Alliance Queensland president Majella Fitzsimmons said enrolment at some childcare centres decreased up to 90 per cent after schools were closed.

Education Minister Dan Tehan said he would continue to work with the sector to mitigate the virus' impact.

Brisbane-based MiStaffing app has adapted its business to connect workers directly with parents, launching the childcare@home service.

MiStaffing chief executive Sharyn Fewster said about 800 casual childcare workers downloaded the app in the past week.

Brisbane mum Sarah Morgan with her daughter Frankie, 3. Picture: AAP/David Clark
Brisbane mum Sarah Morgan with her daughter Frankie, 3. Picture: AAP/David Clark

Nundah mum Sarah Morgan, who has a three-year-old daughter and is running a business from home, said it was a godsend.

"Being able to hire someone to look after my daughter in my home who is a qualified educator I think is a great service," she said.

Originally published as Childcare crisis looming as virus pushes centres to brink



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